DAMASCUS, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- An explosive device went off Wednesday in front of a Shiite holy shrine in a suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus, leaving an undisclosed number of casualties, a pro-government TV said.
The explosive device went off at al-Saida Zainab suburb near a Shiite shrine under the same name, al-Dounia TV said, adding that another explosive device has been dismantled in the same area before it is set off.
The TV gave no details about the exact casualties, but a pro- government web page placed the number at seven.
The area is dominated by Shiite Muslims of both Syrians and Iraqi refugees. The blast there highlights the widening gap between the sects in the Syrian society.
As the 19-month-old conflict in Syria is dragging on, the sectarian hatred has been gaining momentum between the majority Sunnis, who make up the backbone of the anti-government movement, and the Alawitte sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, to whom Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the ruling elite belong.
With high sectarian tension, reports have emerged talking about the flow of thousands of foreign Jihadists into Syria to join the fight against the Syrian administration.
Furthermore, such extremists have stymied the cease-fire that was supposed to take hold during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha last week.
The UN-Arab League joint special representative, Lakhdar Brahimi, implicitly pointed fingers at those groups for faltering his efforts for the cease-fire. "Some people did say that they will not participate in the ceasefire, maybe because they thought that the other side would not respect the ceasefire," Brahimi, the initiator of the truce, said in Moscow recently.